When I spoke of traveling to Edinburgh, people either responded with quizzical expressions and polite smiles, or unbridled enthusiasm. Apart from simply not understanding my decision to work remotely, or that I don’t consider this a vacation, some actually asked why I chose Edinburgh over its neighbor across the sea, Dublin, or why Scotland instead of returning to France.
“You’re going to Edinburgh? That’s nice. I hear Dublin is great.” Umm, that’s not the same thing.
“You’re going to Edinburgh? Oh. What’s there?” Everything.
“Oh my god you’re going to Edinburgh that’s my favorite city ever” – spoken in slurred ardor.
For everyone I know who has visited Edinburgh, they couldn’t help but fall in love. For those who haven’t, I highly recommend it – even more so than the somewhat revered Dublin.
The city is simply, exquisitely, different. Paris may reek of its own beauty, and London will do everything but bore you, but the soft light of Edinburgh, the contrasting purples and greys of the sky, the multicultural shops and people, whimsical winding streets, and lofty views of a castle upon molten rock, create a city unlike any other.
The abstract concept of living in Edinburgh took hold of me years ago. The fact that I’m actually here, finally settled in an apartment, still feels quite surreal.
Curiously, I haven’t been overwhelmed by the thrill and excitement one generally experiences with a new relationship. Just as with people, we all have honeymoon phases with cities and towns we love, followed by the oh-so expected disturbances; Paris and I had quite the turbulent liaison, and even London, one of my favorite places, contained too much energy for us to foster a passive, easy relationship. With Edinburgh, I don’t feel beholden to the tourist agenda, and have been content to simply sit in cafes, write, and wander the bustling streets. Despite having been here for a mere few days, I feel comfortably at home – as if we’ve passed the honeymoon and turbulent phases, and have entered directly into the long-term relationship comfort zone.
It honestly makes no sense.
Perhaps the novelty I crave, and my break from monotony, has simply lifted me from the lull of life, and my new-found comfort stems more from gratitude for a change in scenery – and perhaps I could feel this way anywhere in the world.
But something feels reassuringly different. Just as I discovered ten years ago, this city feels like home.
I’ll soon write more about why exactly I love Edinburgh, along with the neighboring locations, but for now, I wanted to share my first impressions of Edinburgh in photos, and hope that you too travel to this small city, where you can spend your days in cafes, pubs, and exploring the Princes Street Gardens under the shadow of a castle – with views of the lochs and moors of Scotland just beyond the city lights.
Do you have a favorite view of the city? Follow along on my Instagram to stay up to date with my adventures!
Around the bend from my apartment
Leisurely strolls through the Princes Gardens
Living in a Castle
Sunsets overlooking the city, atop the Edinburgh Castle
An evening visit to The Balmoral Hotel, where J.K. Rowling wrote much of the 7th Harry Potter book